In memory of Blackie Margaret Hale, c.1999-August 17, 2021.
Those who have followed me over the years know who Blackie was, and I would like to talk about her on this sad day. Earlier today, my family and I decided to have our beloved cat put to sleep due to her irreversible health problems. She was approximately 22 years old.
I first met Blackie in Balham, London, when I started visiting my husband Gavin back in 2007. She was one of many cats who would come to visit, but there was something special about her. We clicked and she moved in, as I think she was unhappy in her previous home. Here is our first meeting:
She moved in properly a few months later in 2008:
She moved from London to Lancashire with us, when we added “Margaret Hale” to her name as a nod to the character from North & South who is a Southerner who moves up north. There, we lived in two terraced houses, usually with no grass or any greenery to enjoy. Despite this, she adapted well to her new surroundings – and we moved so many times, all over the UK.
Then, we moved to Windsor, with a garden and she had an enjoyable time exploring there. During this time, we started camping and she came with us and we called her the ‘camping cat’.
We moved to Shropshire, and she had a great time in the countryside where she continued her mouse hunting.
Blackie met most of our family and friends, and she even had a bit of popularity online on Twitter. She was very beautiful, with black hair and jade coloured eyes. She was a British shorthair with the thickest, loveliest tail I’ve ever seen.
But her beauty went beyond her looks. She was always so laid back and affectionate: she loved cuddling and even liked sleeping by my side.
She became very attached to our daughter and never scratched her or hurt her in any way, and was always first to her side when she fell over or cried out.
We moved to Croydon and that’s where Blackie’s health went downhill. We recently moved to Derbyshire, where she had a garden. Her desire to explore had diminished and she began to spend more and more time inside her little house.
I wish there were more people like Blackie because she was great in so many ways. I know it seems silly to be so upset about a cat, especially when there is so much pain and suffering and turmoil in the world, but she was part of our family. She was a friend when I was lonely. She was always there for me since I moved to the UK. Now she’s gone and it’s difficult.
I will remember her not as the frail, elderly, and severely incontinent cat she became, but as the dynamic and adventurous feline who loved life and really enjoyed being groomed and having her throat brushed upwards in particular.
I’ll miss the meows, the purring, the little licks, the pawing at our faces when she wanted her breakfast in the morning. I’ll miss her so much and am so thankful for the 14 years we had her in our lives.
Thanks for all the adventures, my dear.
I love you, Blackie, forever.
Thank you for sharing your lovely memories … and your pictures … with us. Blackie was clearly sent to you to assist you in your settling into Britain, becoming a mother, and transforming into the writer you were. Not all of those days were easy, as I recall. THIS IS A SECRET: She hasn’t really left; she just isn’t turning up for dinner any more.
Dear Sally, I really appreciate all your kind words. Thank you so very much. With best wishes always, AZ x
my deepest condolences. She sounds a really special member of the family. Hugs to you, and one day you will be together again.
Hugs. We lost our Blackie just after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day. Five months after she disappeared during a heatwave. She was gone for 12 days after being viciously attacked by a pack of coyotes. She was a new mother, with 3 10 week old kittens when she disappeared and was only a year old. I will never forget the startled look on her young family’s eyes, when she staggered home hours before death, her body temperature dangerously low. We managed to pull her through; she had lost her tail, had bite marks down all her legs and all over her head, was literally skin and bones, her eyes opened unnaturally wide. We thought she would survive, but her internal injuries caused her to succumb to kidney failure. I would like to think, that both our Blackies are now best of friends, playing together over the rainbow bridge.
Your story is heart-breaking. That poor little cat and what incredible will and pluck to drag herself back home to you, knowing that your home was a beacon of hope. It also demonstrates how strong the maternal instinct is in mother cats. Such a devastating story and thank you for loving her so.
It was her first litter. She was a feral kitten of a feral cat. It took months for her to learn to trust us. When she finally felt comfortable enough to leave her kittens she wanted to go outside for short breaks and would hunt for them, bring them mice, like her mother did for her. She was so determined to bring them food inside the house.
I am so sorry – what a horrible experience. Sending you love.
Thank you. Love to you too.
I’m so sorry for your loss of Blackie. It’s so hard to lose a beloved pet. I lost my black beauty, Alice, in June. She was 14 and I had to let her go due to a serious health condition. It has been hard so I empathize with you. Sending love and light to the universe for Blackie. Rest in peace.
I am very for your loss. For many years we had a black male cat named Nudge, because that is what he was . He was into all kinds of mischief, eat anything, and was bad but loveable. One time, at breakfast, I was having cereal and he was waiting for the milk.
Then he starts meowing as of to tell me hurry up.
Thank you for your heart-felt post over the passing of dear Blackie. Just love the photos of her…..what a character she was and how gorgeous. It isn’t silly to be broken-hearted over the death of a four-legged or two-legged friend. They have such a claim on us and we are right to care for and love them.
It was a nice to hear about Blackie Margaret Hale the cat. Thank you for that. Sorry for your big loss
These are memories to treasure. And through memories, Blackie will always live. She must have been such a comfort while you were still quite new to the UK; I can only imagine how much it meant to have her to cuddle up to sometimes. Although the loss is what you’re feeling now, nothing changes the past and how she enriched your life for so many years.
There’s a black cat that often visits our garden and used to sit staring at me through the kitchen window like a peeping Tom. Naturally, I named it Black Tom. It hasn’t shown any particular Parliamentarian leanings yet but, if a Royalist cat passes by, I bet there’ll be trouble!
Take care. xxx
What beauty Blackie had, from her delicate feminine paws to her beautiful expression; charismatic and gentle, loyal and adaptable, impossible not to love her.
Thank you so much to all of you who have sent me kind comments (like those above) and in messages and cards. Thank you as well for sharing your stories of your beloved pets. They truly are members of our families. Blackie had a very full life and lots of love. Love to you all. AZ x
I have Blackie’s brother from another mother across the pond. Our Blackie Black Cat lived as a feral in the woods behind our house. We fed him daily but he would allow us to touch him. In 2019 we added a red poodle puppy to our family. Blackie so loved Darby that he came inside where the four of us have being living happily ever after. I am sorry for the loss of your wonderful cat. I know what it is like to have a loving cat who is both beautiful and smart, and I can only imagine the pain of losing such a black cat.